Pungent garlic and spicy red pepper are balanced by the light sweetness of green broccoli in this dish. It also makes for a wonderful side dish with the fish of your choice.
5 garlic cloves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 (10-ounces) packages frozen chopped broccoli (do not thaw)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
1 pound dried orecchiette pasta
2 Tbsp salt
Finely chop garlic.
Cook garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, but not brown. Add broccoli, water, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender and almost all of liquid has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 Tbs salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
Toss pasta with broccoli, cheese and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Season with salt; thin sauce with more cooking water if desired. Serve with cheese if dairy is allowed in your diet.